Free Will Choice and a Godly Life
Free will choice and a Godly life is something we face every day we live in our earthly existence.
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
22 March 2015
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
Free will choice and a Godly life is something we face every day we live in our earthly existence.
Every day we see good and evil things going on in the world around us, and we have the God-given free will choice to decide whether we are going to follow the evil ways of the devil or choose a Godly life for ourselves.
Obviously, God wants us to apply our free will choice in selecting to live a Godly life in the heavenly will of God.
Psalm 51:1-17 is a psalm of repentance that David wrote after the prophet Nathan confronted him about his affair with Bathsheba.
1. Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.
According to the biblical record, David often exercised his free will choice to follow the ways of the world, but when God confronted him about the evil things he was doing, he truly repented.
Most of us also have fallen into the same trap of the devil that David fell into; for instead of truly seeking God’s will about living a Godly life, we follow our lusts and fall into the devil’s trap.
We need to learn to think in the heavenly will of God before we leap into any action or situation.
However, when we do come to realize that we have committed a sin against the heavenly will of God, we also need to immediately repent as David did, and learn from our mistake so that we won’t fall into the same trap again.
2. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3. For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
4. Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned,
And done what is evil in Thy sight,
So that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak,
And blameless when Thou dost judge.
We hope and pray that this is the way that everyone would feel when they realize that they have done something evil in the sight of God.
Well, let me give you an example where most people cause unbelievable pain and suffering to billions of animals every year without a single thought that such acts are against the heavenly will of God; it’s when these people eat and wear the animals.
In these cases they have used their free will choice to follow the evil ways of the devil by directly bringing harm to an animal or by supporting, with their money, those who harm the animals.
To the very depth of our heart and soul, we need to feel the pain and suffering that we cause others so that we use our free will choice to live a Godly life free from causing pain, suffering, and death to other living beings.
5. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Unfortunately, we all begin life this way.
We are all born with a sinful nature, but we can rise above it by properly applying our free will choice.
6. Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to use our knowledge in a Godly way.
7. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
We all need to be cleansed from the stains of our former lifestyle, for we can never be cleansed while still living in the sinful and corrupt ways of this world.
8. Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice.
David is speaking about the conviction he feels inside for the sins he has committed, as compared to the healing one feels when we have truly repented and been forgiven by the Lord.
9. Hide Thy face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10. Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
This is what we should all want when we repent of our free will choice to follow the ways of the devil instead of deciding to live a Godly life.
So in his heart-felt conviction and repentance, David seeks to be forgiven, just as we all should desire.
11. Do not cast me away from Thy presence,
And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.
12. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation,
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
13. Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways,
And sinners will be converted to Thee.
14. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
Thou God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Thy righteousness.
In writing this psalm, David appears to truly understand the depth of his sins and feels the pain and suffering he has caused, just as each and every one of us should feel.
The tragedy is that most people don’t feel this way, which is also the reason that David did the evil things he did.
Most people use their free will choice to follow the ungodly ways of this world, and in the process they harden their hearts and souls so they don’t feel the pain and suffering involved in their decisions.
Such a case is making colored Easter eggs, which is appropriate for our discussion since this is the Lenten/Easter season.
These people don’t want to think about or feel the suffering of the millions of baby male chickens who are suffocated to death or ground up alive because they have no commercial value to the egg industry.
These people don’t want to think about or feel the pain and suffering of the baby female chickens who have the ends of their beaks cut off with a hot knife without any anesthesia.
These people don’t want to think about or feel the almost never ending suffering of egg laying female chickens who are crammed into small cages so small that they can’t even spread their wings, and who have their babies (eggs) stolen from them.
It’s time we all start feeling this pain and suffering, and repent as David did, and as Jesus tells us to do.
We can use our free will choice to end the practice of dyeing eggs for this season, which has absolutely nothing to do with celebrating or remembering the suffering of Jesus, our risen Savior.
We can use our free will choice not to follow those who are buying and eating eggs for any reason, and in turn avoid eating and buying eggs forever.
We can apply our free will choice to living a Godly life of eating the plant foods that God lovingly gave us when He created the heavens and the earth.
Then we will be able to sing as David did…
15. O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Thy praise.
16. For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
Thou art not pleased with burnt offering.
17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.
We hope and pray that this is the way that we all feel, and that we would not have an animal sacrificed for our human gluttony at any holiday meal or, for that matter, any meal.
In Hebrews 5:1-14, we see Jesus Christ presented as an example of using our free will choice to have a Godly life.
1. For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;
In this verse, we are talking about “priesthood” from a worldly perspective rather than from a heavenly one.
The high priest is selected from men by men to minister to sinful people who have exercised their free will choice to follow the evil ways of this world with all its suffering, bloodshed, and death; most evident of which are the more than 100 billion animals that suffer and die to satisfy human lust and gluttony every year.
The whole sacrificial system began as a way to scapegoat and kill innocent animals in an attempt to appease God for a person’s sins, rather than truly repenting and making the free will choice to live a Godly life.
Nowhere in this passage does it show that the clergy are to help turn the people from their evil ways into the peacemaking children of God.
Instead, we see their job as one of trying to appease God by killing an innocent being.
2. he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness;
3. and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.
God wants obedience and not sacrifice.
It is also very interesting that the entire sacrificial system ended with the destruction of the Temple in the year 70, and people are still being forgiven when they truly repent.
While meditating on this point, consider what we are told about these religious leaders.
4. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.
We know that there are some clergy who are like this, but as we look around the world we see that most of them have made the free will choice to follow the corrupt ways of this world, which turns their congregations away from living in the heavenly will of God where there is no pain or mourning or death.
5. So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him,
“Thou art My Son,
Today I have begotten Thee”;
6. just as He says also in another passage,
“Thou art a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
As our example, Jesus Christ rose above the worldly ways of human clergy and made the free will choice to live a Godly life in the heavenly will of God.
7. In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
8. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
9. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
10. being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
And remember, as we discussed last week, that Jesus told us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).
So, Jesus must have thought that we are capable of being true priests who live and teach in the heavenly will of God.
11. Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
We are being very plainly told that if we are not peacemaking children of God who follow the heavenly will of God, then we are nothing more than infants who still have to suckle at their mothers’ breasts.
13. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
We can and should be those who eat the “solid food,” so that we are fully equipped to practice the heavenly will of God here on earth, and be witnesses to the world around us that we all can be healthier and truly loving and compassionate by eating only the plant foods that God intended for us to eat from the beginning (Genesis 1:29-31).
And in the process, we show those around us that we can have a world that is free of human caused pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death, just as it is in heaven.
We can have peace on earth for all of creation, if we exercise our free will choice in that direction.
We can, if we want to.
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